How to take pictures of children: 10 tips

The author of the photos in this article is children’s photographer Lyalya Garbuz. Take the unique opportunity to study with Lyalya on the course “ Learning to photograph babies and babies ” in the online photo school Fotoshkola.net

Why, when we show puffy photo albums with the image of our child to friends or relatives, their interest is already lost on the third page? Is something wrong with the baby? Why don’t they like him? But we all know that our baby is the best, beautiful, talented … in general, the very best! Or maybe it’s the photos themselves? How to photograph children ?

In this article, we will offer you ten tips for shooting your little one in a variety of situations. Maybe you will find out your previous mistakes, and next time your photos will become more interesting.

We shoot at the game

What could be more beautiful than a child passionate about the game? But, it’s bad luck, in the pictures it turns out the back, then the crown, or even the back of the head of the fidget, and you can’t even figure out what he plays there. Common situation? Let’s fix it.

© Lala Garbuz

Think of the fact that you are not only a photographer, but also a director. Therefore, offer your child the rules of the game. Not all games are equally suitable for shooting. If only because it is very difficult to focus on a running and jumping child, and calm drawing threatens with the fact that in the frame, in addition to pencils with paper, there will be only the hair of a young creator. What to do?

© Lala Garbuz

Firstly, take your dad, grandmother, or someone else who will not only play with the child, but also make sure that he is well positioned in relation to the camera, and also is not dirty, sweaty, disheveled … the baby will definitely not be up to his own appearance. Secondly, select a game. The ball game is quite suitable. The kid at the same time stands still and catches a ball thrown by an adult. The hide-and-seek option, codenamed “cuckoo,” looks funny. The kid hides from an adult behind a tree (wall, closet), periodically peeking with a perky “cuckoo.” By the way, your assistant should be located as close as possible to you. Not that calm games are not at all suitable for shooting. They are suitable, but in order to take a shot, you have to constantly tear off the baby from an exciting activity. He must look at you!

If you just want to be a paparazzi and shoot the baby for his everyday games, try to take pictures from the level of his eyes and not really distract the child.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

We take pictures at home

I must admit that most often I have to photograph at home. But did you know that these are almost the most difficult conditions for shooting children? It does not matter if you own an expensive DSLR or a simple compact, you will still encounter the same problems, which, by the way, can be solved. As a rule, home photos are taken with a flash. But in vain, because the light from the built-in flash completely kills the volume, the texture of the skin, overexposes the forehead or nose, is the reason for the “red-eyed”, and just makes the picture household and uninteresting. Try to abandon this “useful” function in the camera and you will see how much more interesting the portraits of your baby will look.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

Does the sun occasionally peek into your room? Excellent! It’s time to take pictures! Do you have windows in your apartment? Even in cloudy weather there is a delightful light near the window. Just invite your child to play by the windowsill. You ask how to be in the winter when it gets dark at three in the afternoon, and the light in the room is constantly on? Carry more light bulbs! Board, sconces, do not forget to turn on the overhead light – everything will fit, and the more powerful, the better! Just do not forget to switch the white balance to the “incandescent lamp” mode and just in case, increase the sensitivity to ISO 800.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

In the bright sun

We go to the street … Sometimes it’s worth turning a familiar walk into an exciting photo shoot by taking a camera with you. A sunny day (or better evening or morning – at this time the best light) is perfect for shooting. The only things that should not be forgotten are black shadows on the opposite side of the sun. We were taught from childhood that you can’t shoot against the sun. It is possible that this rule arose from the natural economy of our ancestors: in 9 cases out of 10 people shot against the sun turned into a black silhouette … the frame was rejected and the film was a pity … However, there was one more case when a surprisingly unusual photograph came out. You can, for example, recall that there is a “harmful” flash in your camera. It will highlight the face, and the delicate curls on the head of your baby will glow in the sun. By the way, a rare case,

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

You can come up with something more complicated. For example, take along a piece of foil and, reflecting the sun’s rays, highlight the shadows on the face of the child. I do not call to shoot exclusively against the sun, let the baby spin as he wants and play for his pleasure: your task is not to lose his face from the frame and remember that the details in the shadows should be highlighted.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

Portrait with parents

Did Odnoklassniki get too quiet? Post your new portrait with the baby! A flurry of fives and comments is provided. It would also be nice if this portrait was successful.

If you are planning a self-portrait, the mirror will be the best assistant. Set yourself opposite him so that you can see how you are shooting a playing child. The more natural the situation will look, the better. You can do without it by putting the camera on a 10-second timer and jump on time to the baby in time, however here you run the risk of getting not only an unnatural plot, but even losing one of the models. During this time, the child will have time to run to the kitchen itself. I recommend photographing yourself with outstretched hands only if everything is in order with a sense of humor and you are not shy about showing your friends two very distorted faces. The fact is that from such a close distance you both fit in the frame only if the camera is at minimum zoom. In this zoom position, everything near the camera becomes hypertrophied large compared to what is far away. Want an example? Take a look at the samovar!

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

As for portraits with grandparents and other relatives – there is nothing worse than a staged photo with a child in her arms on the background of the carpet. How to take pictures of kids in the family circle? Let granny sit on the floor. Let the grandfather throw the granddaughter high-high (and do not forget to catch it!), Let the father make a silly grimace for his daughter! Feel free to take pictures of life, then, looking at these photos, you will get a lot of positive emotions.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

Water games

Kids love to swim. And how great it is to play in the water! You must remember: the more emotions, the more interesting the pictures. Owners of compacts in this case will be more successful than those who have a SLR, simply because the waterproof case on the CD is worth nothing, but with a SLR camera it’s more difficult in this regard.

Why do we need a case? Not only in order to protect the camera from splashes – and where without them, it is the most beautiful (of course, after your child) – but also so that when removing the splashing fidget, you can lower the camera into water. The upper class – to catch the moment when half the frame will be in the water, and the other half – on land. Although, duplicates will have to do a lot. If you are shooting a child with someone else, just ask them to play, and go around in circles and click. It is in circles. Do not stand still for a second. So you can choose the most interesting perspective. If there is no one to help you, you have to take the brunt. Ask your child to spray you from head to toe. He will do it with great pleasure. And do not forget to dash it back. Without ceasing to shoot, of course!

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

The first photo shoot in my life

Everything that we talked about so far applies to fairly adult babies from a year old and older. But what about the crumbs? How to photograph children up to a year? How to photograph babies?

© Lala Garbuz

Do not be afraid to photograph them from the very first day. As we said earlier, it is better to abandon the flash. Not even because the sudden sudden light can scare the baby, but because the result is poor. Therefore, try to use only natural light.

Infants up to two months sleep a lot, which we will use, remembering the masterpieces of Anna Geddes. It is important not to forget that each frame should be thought out. Few people will be interested in a child shot through the bars of a bed, but if you lay it on a green blanket and put a hat with caterpillar horns on your head, this is a completely different matter. Remember that it all depends on your imagination. Come up with interesting stories, sew or buy costumes and props and take advantage of the fact that your charm still does not know how to run away from you.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

If the baby does not sleep, he should be in a good mood, namely, dry, well-fed, slept and healthy. If something goes wrong as you would like, postpone shooting for a couple of hours, or even for a day. The mood of the model is the law.

What if it’s dark?

We already talked about how to be if you have to shoot in a poorly lit apartment. And if there is no way to increase the amount of light?

Have to ask for help from the camera itself. Do not extend the zoom or bring the camera too close to the child. It’s better to capture the excess in the frame, then you can always crop it. Set the camera to shutter priority mode, if available. In some, it is indicated by the letters Tv, in some it is S. The child is a mobile creature, so the shutter speed (that is, the time the shutter is open) should be no longer than 1/30 second. And the more mobile the child, the shorter the shutter speed.

© Lala Garbuz

Sensitivity should be quite high. 400, 800 or even higher. Yes, due to the high sensitivity, unpleasant artifacts in the form of noise appear in the picture, but this is better than the smeared surrealism instead of the playing child.

In addition, it will be better if you put the camera in continuous shooting mode and click on series. Already a couple of frames from the series will certainly be sharp.

© Lala Garbuz

As for the built-in flash – it can only be turned on if you want to take not a picture, but a documentary proof of your child’s pranks. In this case, we are not talking about the artistry of photography. And one more thing: the lighter the baby’s clothes will be, the better.

© Lala Garbuz

Shooting Poses

Who says a good photographer has no patterns? They are, just a lot of them. As one example of a template, you can bring poses for shooting. Those that are best for the first year of life. So, from the very beginning. how to photograph young children?

Infants up to one and a half to two months: of course, lying down, but not from above, as we used to take pictures, but from eye level. Or in the arms of mom or dad. You can remove the face of the baby, peering over his mother’s shoulder, from behind. From two to five months: at this age, the baby already holds his head well and even tries to get on all fours, so put him on his tummy, and lie down in front of him and show him something interesting. A sitting posture is also good, only there must be something in the hands of the child, otherwise the fidget will not even let you focus. Six to nine months: The baby cheerfully crawls on all fours and even gets up on its feet. This is what we will photograph, not forgetting to lie down on the floor. Ten months and older: the baby stands confidently or runs,

© Lala Garbuz

As you already noticed, almost always we bend as low as possible, so that the shooting point is not higher than the child, but there is an exception. If the child sits in place and does something, you can call him, so that he lifts his head and looks at you, and take a picture from above. In this case, it is very important that there are no unnecessary objects around the baby. Only that corresponds to the idea of the frame.

© Lala Garbuz

Details are important too

What a surprise, in a year or two you will come to consider the old hats, sandals of your beloved. How small he was! All this can be reflected in the photo, if you pay attention to the details. For example, take a picture of a tiny leg in my father’s palms. Or delicate fingers grabbing your finger or something else, the size of which you are well aware. More attention to detail – then you will have something to remember. Anyway, such pictures look very moving.

© Lala Garbuz

© Lala Garbuz

Posing?

All children are different: someone can bother with a toy for hours, and someone can’t easily sit for a minute. But this does not mean that the second case is hopeless for shooting. Quite the opposite! The livelier and more active the child, the richer his facial expressions, the more interesting the pictures will be. And in no case do not force the baby to pose for you. In the best case, you will get inanimate pictures with a stone expression on your face, and in the worst – the persistent aversion of your little model to photographing. Play, have fun, have fun, and who knows, maybe photographing will become not only your hobby, but also your little one’s favorite fun.

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